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Blueprint Weekly Music Report: Sia Releases Another One, Old Kanye is Back?, and David Bowie is David Bowie

Jon Ababiy, Blueprint Deputy

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This week, Jon Ababiy steps up to reviews new music from John Williams, Sia, Kanye West, and others. The grading scale goes 100-61 = Good, 60-46 = Mediocre and 45-0 = Bad, Ranked highest score to lowest. This week’s edition features a review/tribute to David Bowie.

Image from P

Image from Pitchfork

Sia- Sia is back with another song, “Reaper”. The song was originally written for Rihanna, and so it sounds like something she would sing, but Sia does a great job adjusting the song to her voice. An electric, telegraph sounding instrumental gives the song a summer feeling. Sia’s voice channels Rihanna a little bit and she sings in her powerfully unique way. The lyrics are about love, like usual, but give off confidence. The songs summer instrumental and the confident lyrics mesh well. The song is good, but not great; It is pleasant to listen to, but it does not have a particularly jaw dropping or excellent aspect. It blends in with rest of Sia’s music. “Reaper” earns a 70 this week.

Kendrick Lamar- The man who is currently killing the rap game, Kendrick Lamar, premiered a new song on the The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Named “Untitled 2”–there was a number one?–, the song features a jazz beat and no hook or chorus. The song might be a freestyle, but still goes in. Lamar’s last album was a masterpiece, and this song would fit perfectly in it. Reflecting on money and old friends, Lamar’s bars are potent and full of allusions. The finale is awesome as Lamar starts rapping faster and the instrumental gets louder. Lamar kills it in every sense of the word and earns a 85

KANYE WEST . om

Kanye West- The old Kanye might be back, from the sound of the his new song Real Friends”. Kanye’s favorite person is still Kanye, but in this track we see Kanye emotional. He gives us a glimpse of his inner problems, beneath the Kardashian drama and Yeezy shoes. He laments that he is a busy man, “When was the last time I wasn’t in a hurry”. Kanye is successful, so naturally he has lost some old friends and gained some new “fake friends”, but Kanye wants to know who his real friends are. There is also a nice echo with rapper Ty Dolla $ign; their chorus flows really well. The instrumental is really low-key and accents the lyrics. The song seems to end, but there it goes on for another 40 seconds. The 40 seconds don’t sound as good and don’t go with the rest of the song. The last part doesn’t take away too much from the song, and Kanye’s track gets a 90 this week.

amazon . co

Image from Amazon

John Williams, Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Collection- Star Wars fans can rejoice, the soundtracks for all 7 movies has come out in a 11 disc compilation. Star Wars is noted for bringing Orchestra pieces to the mainstream for movie sound tracks. John Williams, the creator of the soundtracks, has a talent of making music that perfectly matches the personalities and events on screen. I still remember watching Anakin fight Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith as a kid and hearing the awesome super suspenseful music. This movie series was my childhood and John Williams earns a 100 this week.

NPR . co

Image from NPR

David Bowie- After 69 long years, David Bowie died on Sunday. His influence on pop is enormous, and two days before his death he released an album, Blackstar. Before I review the album, I just wanna say it is very weird. It’s one of those things that only adults love and hype up and leave you feeling like this. I will grow a few years and try to review this album as an adult. So here it comes.

Black Star is Bowie’s finale to his long and illustrative career and like his other music, this album is experimental and different. Bowie injects his years of experience and pain into the lyrics. You don’t always understand what he is alluding to–“Girl loves me/Hey cheena” is the chorus of one of the songs– but you could get the feeling that it is rich and important. Black Star could be a sax album in its own right, as he makes use of the instrument in almost every song. He also adds synth that sounds like lasers; his sound is so strange, and it all forms together for the melancholy theme he has in Black Star. His instrumentals and haunting voice work together perfectly, giving you a nice feeling of depression and “Why am I listening to this?” The song “Lazarus” is the best song on the album, as you can understand what he is saying and his sax is really depressing. David Bowie is just one of those grown up things, and because I don’t want to rate a dead mans music, he earns a ???(???) rating this week. RIP David Bowie.

 

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Blueprint Weekly Music Report: Sia Releases Another One, Old Kanye is Back?, and David Bowie is David Bowie